I am a first-generation American, born in Atlanta, Georgia. I was raised in the 1970s and 80s by beautiful immigrant parents who filled me with pride and washed away my southern accent for most of my life. With three cultures surrounding me, my 18 year-long journey into Roman Catholic school life was where aside from basic catechism, I was taught interesting and useful ideas such as-
What private school did not teach me however, is how to successfully navigate being culturally different from your peers. I cultivated chameleon talents to compensate.
Though I'm a native Atlantan, I’ve travelled to different countries regularly since I was a toddler. It wasn't until college though that I truly embraced my diversity. I began to actually harbor a clandestine lust for an artistic, gypsy, wayward life in foreign lands, but sadly, I was too practical (and too chicken) to ever go through with it. I also never thought I could express myself artistically.
However, tiny, whimsical nudges began to pull me into more creative endeavors. I fell in love with foreign languages, got my undergraduate in romance language literature and a graduate degree in linguistics. From language teaching, in 1998 I was oddly catapulted into technology. It was the tech world that would rekindle my innate curiosity about gadgets (the one that drove me to pull apart transistor radios at the age of eight). This converted into a love for coding websites and dabbling in the visual arts.
I was getting closer, but it would be over a decade until I could really accept how much I love art, especially photography. In 2005, I bought a Nikon digital camera and began taking classes. One day after class, I stumbled upon an old Kodak Instamatic 110 camera at my parents' house. It was actually my camera but I had forgotten all about it!
The memories came flooding back of all the connections I had not just with photos, but with all art. Suddenly, everything made sense... and since then, I've never looked back!
Photography has been stern and jealous with me. Yet, it's a rewarding teacher. It has also gotten me into a few publications, gallery showings, interviews and onto a few other platforms. In 2011, I became obsessed again with film photography and built a darkroom in my home. Darkroom time always humbles me.
My preferred genre is street photography because it is the one that inspires my connection with people and life in the most symbolic, unobtrusive, and candid way. I started my own street photography group and keep practicing as often as possible.
How my I came full circle to this place and how strongly I believe in the power of creativity is why I began the The Additional f-Stop. I use this site as a way of communicating what I continue to learn in art and in life.